Methacholine is used to help determine whether a patient has asthma. This medication is inhaled in the hospital; it causes temporary shortness of breath so that doctors can determine whether the patient’s reaction is symptomatic of asthma. Patients inhale it in the hospital; if they become unable to breathe, the doctor gives an antidote to help restore normal breathing.
This medication should only be used in the hospital and should only be used to help test a patient’s breathing ability. It should never be used for any other purpose or used without the supervision of a physician. Failure to follow precautions can be fatal.
If a patient appears to already have asthma or is known to have breathing problems, this medication should not be administered.
Doctors using this medication should be trained in its use and familiar with medications used to help reverse the effects of Methacholine.